Right-arm New Zealand pacer Matt Henry has been called into the Kiwi T20I squad as a replacement for batsman Finn Allen, who is in quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Dhaka for the series against the hosts.
Although, Henry, 29, was initially selected only for the upcoming Pakistan ODI series of New Zealand’s away trip however, he will now join the Kiwi team in Dhaka for the five-match T20I series against the hosts, beginning on September 1.
Notably, Henry had last played a T20I against Bangladesh at Napier on January 3, 2017.
So far, the 29-year-old has featured in six T20Is, bagging seven wickets and with a bowling average of 27.28.
Commenting on Henry’s inclusion, New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said that Henry is not a “like-for-like replacement” for Allen however, he feels the pacer will help with the bowling workload.
“Matt’s clearly not a like-for-like replacement for Finn, but he expands our selection options and, in the current circumstances, is the best equipped to join the side at such short notice. He’s (Finn) received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccination and already has an MIQ bed allocated for his return. And, in the current environment, we remain mindful of the need to carefully balance player workloads,” Stead expressed.
Earlier on August 24, Allen had returned positive for Covid-19 after landing in Bangladesh for the T20I series.
Recently, Allen had represented the Birmingham Phoenix in England’s new The Hundred competition. The 22-year-old was fully-vaccinated and had passed all his pre-departure tests in England before testing positive 48 hours after arrival in Dhaka.
After the development, Allen was quarantined at the team’s hotel in Dhaka.
Announcing the developement, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) had said: “Allen is receiving treatment from the Bangladesh Cricket Board’s chief medical officer; has been in contact with NZC’s chief medical officer, and will be monitored during his stay in quarantine by BLACKCAPS doctor Pat McHugh.”
New Zealand manager Mike Sandle had said that he was in constant contact with the youngster and was confident that Allen was receiving the best medical attention from local authorities.
The five T20Is will be held on September 1, 3, 5, 8 and 10. All the games will be held at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka as it will avoid the travelling of both the teams during the time of pandemic.
The Black Caps will then depart for Pakistan for another and final series before the T20 World Cup, slated to be held in the UAE from October 17.
The Kiwis will play a three-match ODI rubber before a five-match T20I series against Pakistan from September 17.
While the ODIs will be held on September 17, 19 and 21, the T20Is will be stage on September 25, 26, 29, October 1 and 3.
All the ODIs will be staged at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi while all the T20Is will be held at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
NZ Squad (Bangladesh Tour): Tom Latham (captain), Finn Allen, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell, Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry, Scott Kuggeleijn, Cole McConchie, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Ben Sears, Blair Tickner, Will Young.